I know that in Iowa, “Our state fair is a great state fair.” There’s even a musical to prove it. But that doesn’t mean I particularly like fairs, because I don’t. That’s not to say I don’t enjoy an occasional funnel cake or something deep-fried on a stick, because I do. And I like the 4-H exhibits, particularly the woodworking and home furnishings projects. I also like to look at the farm machinery and take in a concert or two. However, after a couple hours at a fair, I’m hot and sweaty and ready to go home. I’m tired of the crowds — and I’m just tired. You might say my fair tolerance is fairly low.
I wasn’t always fair averse. As a kid I went to the annual Central Wisconsin State Fair, at first with my dad and older brother and sisters, and later with my friends. I’d check out cattle in the World’s Largest Round Barn, collect vendors’ trinkets in the old Exhibition Building, and try the carnival rides on the midway. But then in the mid-1980s as a Wisconsin farm reporter, I spent a good chunk of each summer covering every county fair and livestock show in my 10-county area. By the time I moved to Iowa in 1988 I had had enough fair and no longer felt the need to make an annual trek to any fairgrounds.
To those of you who love going to whatever fair you love going to, have a good time. Just don’t make me go with you.
P.S. Need one more fair fix this year? Check out the Central Wisconsin State Fair in Marshfield, Sept. 2-7, 2015.